cWe had our first workshop for our Home Grown & Healthy site.  22 people gathered together, over half of our participants for the first time to meet and greet and talk about gardening. Jackson County Extension office in McKee hosted the event and supplied the speaker.

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We got the opportunity to go around the circle introducing each other, telling about the type of garden we were growing and where we’re within Jackson and Clay County. Our site is very diversified growing square foot, straw bale, no till, community, pallet, & of course  more traditional (12)

Our evening started with one of our participants, Jenny Yarbrough supplying the meal of fresh garden greens, with strawberries, chicken, beans, a roll and pineapple cake. It was very good, especially the salad greens out of the garden.

photo (11) Our speaker from the Extension Office talked about basic gardening, scheduling vegetable planting for continuous harvest, The Fall Garden, the difference between a bushel and a peck, keeping critters out of the garden and how to prepare the food coming out of the garden in a healthy way. She included some great handouts and recipe cards to take home with us.  Here is just one of the several recipes she shared with us. Cucumber, Corn & Bean Salsa was my favorite.

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Cucumber, Corn & Bean Salsa

2-3 Large Cucumbers

2 tomatoes

1 Yellow bell pepper

1 small red onion

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1/2 cup black beans

1/2 cup fresh whole kernel corn, cooked

1 ounce package dry ranch dressing mix

1/8 cup cider vinegar

2 tablespoons sugar, optional

 Wash, finely chop, combine, drain any liquid, add dressing mix + vinegar,

chill and serve. Makes 20 1/2 cup servings.

The evening ended talking among new formed friendships. There were discussions on how people used trellises, how the straw bale gardens were doing, how to keep deer and other critters out. Overall it was a wonderful evening. We came away with some great information, and all the participants that came got several giveaways  including, hand tools, gardening gloves, knee pads and tie ups. For our first workshop I would say it was a success!!!